Gary Drug Co. is a family enterprise in the truest sense, serving generations from the neighborhood over the years, and with a long history of hiring the relatives of employees to come work at the longstanding Charles Street pharmacy.
“We have a loyal following in the community,” said Dan Greenfield, who, together with his father, Herman, owns and operates the pharmacy at 59 Charles St. – a self-described “neighborhood legend” that dates back to 1934. “And I like to think we’re part of the community.”
Herman, now 87, bought Gary Drug in 1972 and the building it sits in six years later. He lived above the store for many years and his tenants included Eileen Fitzpatrick, a longtime Gary Drug employee who lived in an apartment upstairs, where she raised her only child, Tom Savage.
Fitzpatrick came to work at Gary Drug as a clerk in 1976 and was store manager upon her untimely her death in 2015, while Savage, now in his mid 30s, has been an employee at the pharmacy for more then 20 years.
“My years here have gone by here in a flash, and I’ve loved every minute of it,” Savage said at work Friday. “Dan and his father, Herman, taught me customer service, the value of community and treating your customers with respect.”
Working alongside Savage at Gary Drug is his aunt and Fitzgerald’s sister, Gail Bray, who has also been an employee at the pharmacy for around 20 years now herself.
“We did outnumber the Greenfields for a long time,” Gail joked.
Bray, Fitzgerald and Savage were working together there at one time, Bray recalled, while at another point, the staff included those three, as well as Bray’s daughter, Danielle, and over the years, Bray’s nephews, Emmett and Owen, have also worked at Gary Drug.
“It’s a lot of fun working here,” Bray said, “and it’s nice taking care of the customers.”
Other Gary Drug employees include Gus Friedman, who has worked there for 10 years, and is still considered the “new guy,” according to Dan, while Richard Lane, the pharmacist, has now been a fixture for around 40 years.
“He started in college and never left,” said Dan, who is now 50 himself, and began working at the pharmacy in 1993.
When asked to account for Gary Drug’s enduring presence on Charles Street, Dan said, “We try to treat everyone like family, which is why people stay working here so long. We also treat our customers with respect, and unlike our competitors, we have the ability to really get to know our customers, and that enables us to provide the highest level of service to them.”
Gary Drug Co. can be reached at 617-227-0023 or found online at garydrug.com.